While navigating the landscape of healthcare in America, Black Americans encounter obstacles built into the system that impact their health, well-being, and livelihood. From HIV prevention discrepancies to barriers in accessing mental health support, here are a few important statistics that touch on the inconsistencies, inequalities, and inequities in the healthcare system that Black Americans face regularly.
- Black LGBTQ+ individuals may face a higher risk of getting HIV/AIDS
Although Black Americans represent almost 13% of the U.S. population, they accounted for 42.1% of . According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, Black people are also about than white people, which has to do with limited access to treatment
- There is a notorious gap in PrEP access amongst Black versus white people.
A study found that 13% of Black people who could benefit from PrEP have been prescribed it while 94% of White people who could benefit from PrEP have been prescribed it. According to , a digital map that traces HIV, 42% of new HIV diagnoses in 2022 were found in Black Americans, but only 14% of PrEP users that year were Black.
- Black transgender Americans experience hurdles to gender-affirming healthcare
Accessing gender-affirming healthcare can pose challenges for Black transgender Americans, resulting in disparities in both mental and physical health outcomes. A study by the found that some of the barriers Black transgender people faced, specifically trans women, included financial barriers, a limited number of gender-affirming clinicians, discrimination based on assumed substance use, and their HIV status.
- Mental health issues disproportionately impact black people.
Black Americans below the poverty level are to report serious psychological distress compared to those with incomes exceeding twice the poverty level. Childhood and adult due to social stresses, stigma, and trauma.
- There's a lower likelihood for Black patients to have Black doctors, a factor that has the potential to save lives.
Considering the history of how Black Americans were treated in medicine, like the , historical trauma has led to distrust of the medical system. But this trust can be repaired, even save lives with greater Black representation in the healthcare systems. It’s as impactful as this: when Black doctors take care of Black patients, it can reduce the disparity in cardiovascular deaths between white and Black patients .
Removing barriers to care
From the start, Central Outreach has been dedicated to eradicating barriers for communities that don’t often receive quality healthcare– HIV+, transgender, low-income, those in recovery, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC individuals. Our staff, from front desk admins to exam room clinicians, to call center operators, all have decades of experience supporting those communities.
This Black History Month, we are reminded of our mission to strive to understand what our client's needs are and how we can treat them holistically.